Areas of Strength
American Literature and Culture
The area of strength in American Literature and Culture offers students the opportunity to research and write in an array of Americanist fields and periods from the colonial era to the present, including African American, Asian American, and U.S. Latinx literary and cultural studies,19th-century literature and culture, disability studies, gender/sexuality/LGBTQ studies, and 20th-century and contemporary literatures and cultures. American Literature and Culture takes a hemispheric view of “American." This means understanding the term not only as signifying writing, film, and music from the United States but from the greater Americas as well. Students with interests in Caribbean, Pacific, borderlands, Canadian, and Latin American literatures and cultures can thus study those traditions here in view of their diasporic and transnational aesthetics, histories, and politics. Faculty in American Literature and Culture have strengths in literary history, genre studies, and cultural and critical theory, making the area a prime one for making connections with other fields in literary and cultural studies in the department and beyond.
British and Postcolonial Studies, 1700–Present
The area of strength in British and Postcolonial Studies spans the field of modern British literature and culture post-1700, often with attention to questions about Empire and its aftermath. It has especial strengths in gender in British Literature, 18th-century literature of the British Empire, social history, aesthetics and photography, 19th and early 20th-century British literature and the visual arts, and colonial and postcolonial literature and cinema.
Seminars often focus on special topics as well as surveys of literary and cultural themes in the field of British and Postcolonial Literature and Culture. Graduate courses engage a theoretically and historically attentive approach to a wide range of materials, both canonical and non-canonical, in literature as well as visual culture. Seminars often complement and connect with those offered in the Medieval and Early Modern Studies and American Literature and Culture areas through theoretical intersections around transnational approaches and the analysis of gender and race.